K. GOPALA PILLAI Vs. N. GOPALA PILLAI
HIGH COURT OF KERALA
K. Gopala Pillai
N. Gopala Pillai
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Nandana Menon, J. -
(1.) THIS appeal arises out of a Suit for recovery, of amounts due as per accounts, the Defendants being the Appellant. The suit was filed by the Plaintiff who was the proprietor of a hotel callecf S. N. V. Brahmin's Hotel at Kottayam claimta that as per dealings between himself and the Defendant as evidenced by the accounts kept by; Rs. 3808 -2 -3 was due to him. The Defendant who admitting dealings with the Plaintiff denied his, liability for any amount. The lower court upheld the Plaintiff's claim.
(2.) EXTS . A to D are the relevant pages lid the ledger kept by the Plaintiff denoting, the trail sactions with the Defendant. Ext. D is of 11213 Ext. C of 1122, Ext. B of 1123 and Ext. A of 1124J Ext. T shows that the S. N. V. Hotel was purcha ed by the Plaintiff only in 1120. Exts. E to G show the Day Book entries of the relevant transactions. The amounts claimed on the basis of these accounts consist of various kinds of claims. Besides of being the proprietor of the S. N. V. Hotel the Plaintiff was a partner in a Hotel called Ananda Mandiram and had a provision store called Veloorf Store.
According to the Plaintiff, the Defendant had transactions with all these three concerns and he had agreed to the amount due as per his dealings with Velour Store and Ananda Mandiran Hotel to be brought into the S. N.V. Accounts there being a consolidating account showing the state of dealing with the Defendant. So the amounts now claimed are items composed of detail due as a result of direct transactions with the S.N.V. Hotel and those due as per dealings wit the other two concerns. The accounts of the Plaintiff clearly go to support the plaint claim.
On behalf of the Defendant it is contew, it that, as only the Plaintiff has gone into the to prove the accounts the same have not been properly proved and the entries cannot be relies upon. What is tod is that under Section 34 of the Evidence Act Plaintiff alone is not competent to prove the accounts. As pointed out by the learnedi District judge, the account on the face of it does not create any suspicion and is seen to be re larladsept. The effect of Section 34 is that a mere entering.
In account book by itself is not evidence liability. In the commentaries to the Evidence Act under Section 54 (page 362 of the 8th Edition) observes as follows:
Section 34 only lays down that a plaint cannot obtain a decree by merely proving existence of certain entries in his books of account even though kept in the regular course of business. He will have to show further by some independent evidence that the entries represent honest, and real transactions and that the moneys were paid in accordance with those entries. No particular form or kind of evidence in addition is required. Any relevant facts which can be treated has evidence would be sufficient corroboration, if:true. Materials for corroboration may take the shape of vouchers, receipts, or other documentary evidence or sworn oral testimony.
So there is no force in the argument that because the writer of the account is not examined or the original accounts of the Veloor and Ananda mandiram concerns had not been produced the Plaintiff should be non -suited. Here, apart from the books and the oral evidence of the Plaintiff, there is other independent evidence adduced by him to support his claim. The question is whether such evidence is reliable enough and sufficient to corroborate the entries in the accounts of the Plaintiff. (Then after discussing evidence liis Lordship proceeded).
Thus it is seen mere that the Plaintiff has produced accounts which are apparently regularly kept as contemplated under Section 34 of the Evidence Act. The entries in the Day Book and the Ledger tally. The Plaintiff deposes in support of the correctness of the entries. Most of the entries are corroborated by other evidence as pointed out above. Circumstantial evidence also go to support the Plaintiff's claim. When most of the items daimed are shown to be real by other independent evidence there is no meaning in saying that each entry should be further corroborated apart from the evidence of the Plaintiff himself. The decision in T. N. S. Firm v. Muhammad Hussain : AIR 1933 Mad 756 (A), cited on behalf of the Appellant only lays that mere filing of accounts will not be sufficient to prove a liability.
Here there is other evidence to support the Plaintiff's claim. Though it is seen that several letters and bills have been scut by the plain tiff the Defendant has failed to produce them. He has not also produced his accounts. His letters as pointed out above admit that amounts were due from him to the Plaintiff and that he was finding it difficult to discharge them. In the face of these the lower court was quite right in disbelieving the Defendant and accepting the Plaintiff's evidence and granting him a decree.
(3.) IN the result the appeal is dismissed with costs.;
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